Today, I’m trying to remember a time when I could go for a poo without the small person pulling herself up on the toilet bowl.

I don’t know why she’s not as traumatised as I am. Today, it’s also messy play day. The two are not related. It’s messy play day every day, of course, but today I’m aiming to organise and therefore contain the mess. Haahaaha, yeah right! Here’s the 5 Min Mums’ top 5 tips for letting the kids go wild with the weekly shop some carefully prepared messy play ingredients. We’ll worry about the muesli ground into the carpet later.

1. Sara, mum of Grace (1): Yoghurt on a clean table. The blog I read this on called it edible finger painting but a better name is probably manic hand splatting. I like this because the small person can do it (after man-handling the toilet. Yuk).
2. Caz, mum of Jonas (3) and Fin (1): Big bowls of oats outside and cups, ladles and jugs for pouring/filling, etc.”
3. Charlotte, mum of Ryan and Luke (both 4): “Shaving foam in the bath. Put the boys in trunks and let them run riot, safe in the knowledge I can shower it all down the plughole later.”
4. Gemma, mum of Arlo (5) and Fyfe (3): “In better weather, I take the boys out to do gardening stuff, which always turns into (seriously) messy play! We also do painting big boxes outside.”

And if mess really isn’t your thing….

5. Lucy, mum to Ella (4) and Joe (1): “I do find that manual labour/household chores can be a winner. Ella was sweeping the garden yesterday while Joe ate a dustpan and brush. It lasted an hour!”

What your small person just learnt

Believe it or not, there’s a whole load of MATHS mixed up in messy play. There’s the concept of putting stuff inside (and often outside) the pots/jugs/bathtub (sob). Plus, the senses are in overdrive touching, smelling and tasting the stuff they’re playing with, and experiencing how it changes in their hands. That’s SCIENCE, you know. Hopefully that’ll make you feel better when you’re hoovering oats later.